Sevier County Hospitality Trade Show 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a Facebook announcement about the Sevier County Hospitality Trade Show and decided to check it out. It was free so I went after work and caught the last 45 minutes. While there, I saw some old friends and some of our favorite businesses in this area. If you ever go, this is what you may see. Follow along!


This was the announcement that I saw on Facebook. Looked good!


I had never visited the Sevierville Convention Center so it was fun to explore it for the first time.


Beth Madison works the table for Relay For Life.


If you need music then contact Stephen Goff. We enjoy seeing him perform in this area.


I always enjoy talking with Linda Sink Hyder with the UT Extension office. Look for her at the Sevierville Farmer’s Market this summer too.


These seminars looked good for all kinds of businesses and organizations.


Our favorite bar-b-q place!


My nieces and nephews really enjoy visiting Wilderness at the Smokies. It may be time for another visit.


If you have not visited Anakeesta yet then you really need to go. Ride the open air chairlift to the top.


This booklet is a great resource for visitors.


I asked them to look ‘burly’ for the photo.


Businesses that support the hospitality industry can be found at this event as well.


Getting hungry yet?


I have not visited this attraction yet, but it may be on my ‘summer list.’


A great local insurance company. Consider them if you need it.


A popular new business in town. Visit their location behind Staples and Dick’s Sporting Goods.


A ‘one-stop-spot’ for visitor information.


Sean Pearson and Joe Luneke from First Tennessee Bank.


After this terrible flu season, it is good to know the location of another Urgent Care facility.



I liked this display. Can’t wait for summer and these kind of activities!


I am sure that you are hungry now! Our favorite Pigeon Forge Restaurant.

IMG_7222 8

Next year, I want to try my luck at this wheel.


Smoothies created by the convention center to replenish energy for the event.


A nice amenity at the convention center.


On the way out to my car, I spied our favorite Sevier County native and some of the best places to visit here.

I had little time at this event and had to hurry, but it was nice to get an overview of some of our best hospitality groups in Sevier County. Keep up the good work!

See you there while out and about in Sevierville. 



Your Coffee Break Just Got Better: A Visit to Smoky Mountain Espresso

Do you enjoy a fireplace with your morning java? A new coffee place has opened on the corner of Veterans Boulevard and Middle Creek Road that can give you that experience. I took a quick trip to check out Smoky Mountain Espresso this morning. Here is what I found…


The fireplace is very warm and cozy. You could wear a T-shirt in that spot and be very comfortable. My latte was wonderful.


Make note! The drive thru window is open at 6:30 a.m. during the week. The front door usually opens by 7:00 in the morning.

There will be a grand opening on Wednesday, February 28th from 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. They will celebrate with $1 lattes and mochas! Scroll their Facebook page to find  

because they have a contest to give away free coffee for a year! ‘Like,’ ‘share,’ or ‘tag’ a friend to enter.


I found the location to be easy and accessible at 1259 Middle Creek Road. You can see the traffic light in the picture above. In addition, you can see the future location of Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt next door. The owners ( who own both businesses)  hope to be open by Feb. 14th.


Walk in the front door and the bathrooms are immediately inside. The open foyer leads to the coffee shop on the left and the yogurt shop on the right.


This must be good!

I asked them which was the most requested coffee right now and they replied “the Smoky Mountain Mocha.” It can be served hot, cold, or over ice. Also, this month there is a special Chocolate Covered Strawberry coffee. Oh, my!


Smoky Mountain Espresso is beautifully decorated with a cool, mountain feel. Smoky Mountain Espresso offers coffee, tea, smoothies, and Nitro coffee. Nitro is a very cold brew with a frothy top. Must try one this summer.


Of course, this was the preferred spot for my skim latte.


There are plenty of chairs and views of the beautiful hills and woods.


Like Sweet Frog, this is a Christian owned company. I have always enjoyed the good vibes that you get there so this place is no exception. I enjoyed listening to music by Crowder, Chris Tomlin, and Switchfoot during my time there. The music is very soft so you will have no trouble having a conversation.


Here is a nice touch…the indoor fireplace is actually a ‘double fireplace’ because it is inside and outside. They will place more tables and chairs in this outdoor area and it will be a great place to enjoy a treat with friends. Or have a faculty meeting? I vote “yes!”

Smoky Mountain Espresso is located across the street from the Holston Conference United Methodist Connexion building, visible in the photo above.


Treats are available for those who want a snack or breakfast on the go.


This is the place to go for a gourmet cup of coffee because each one is ground fresh the moment that you order it. I couldn’t help but admire the huge grinders on the counter in front of me.


This will be quite an asset to Sevierville and I know a lot of people will enjoy a gourmet blend now, whether on the way to work, or on weekends. See more photos on my blog Facebook page for pictures: Out and About in

I will visit the Smoky Mountain Espresso again soon. Save me a seat on the couch!


Lift Your Spirits! A Trip to Sevier Distilling Company.


A dreary, cold Friday prompted Karen and I to investigate a new distillery in Sevierville. This one is special and I think that you would enjoy spending an hour or more there. It is easy to lift your spirits at Sevier Distilling Company. Come along, if you like, and see this new business in town.


We walked in to see beautifully displayed merchandise. You won’t see a T-shirts displayed more attractively than this.


The room is clean and sleek with an ‘industrial mountain’ vibe in the decor. I love it. Look at the beautiful floors reflecting the room. This business has only been open since October 2017 so go to the Sevier Distilling Facebook page to see the metamorphosis. Here is a link:


The sign behind the bar is stunning. Absolutely beautiful. It was created by local artist, Chuck Ottolini. The sign changes colors as well. Note the examples in the picture collage  above.


Ottollini also created the front of the bar area. It is stunning. This alone is worth a visit!


Staven, our server and distillery guide, was quite helpful. He took his time explaining the products and the distilling processes.

I was admiring their floor mats too.


We ran into one of the family members who owns the distillery, Chris Yett, pictured here with his friendly dog. I have known the family for years so that was another reason that I wanted to visit the business. His dad is checking on things in the background.


You have a opportunity to taste the products. They say that there is no sugar in the product and no GNS (Grain Neutral Spirits). Sevier Distilling Co. makes everything and processes on site. There are three flavors for sale. The Tennekeela was sold out during our visit due to a high volume of sales during the holidays. As you would guess, that product is a tequila.



Besides tastings, you can also order a cocktail or spirited concoction by the bartender.


It is always fun to go behind the scenes and tour a factory or facility. Staven showed us where the processing takes place. He took his time and answered all our questions.

IMG_5127We saw where they fill the jars, then label and seal the jars by hand.


It is always interesting to see the grains and ingredients that go into a product.


We saw various machines and heard about chemical processes. The white container above holds distilled water. The blue containers hold honey for the Yenoh product.


Study the label very carefully and see if you can discover what Yenoh was named for…


They lifted the lid to let my look into this vat of corn mash. It smelled like corn bread!


I was fascinated by the vats and containers. So interesting! They looked like a Jules Verne or steam punk creation.

IMG_5155We looked out the back door to see these things. The flag measures 1800 square feet with an 180 foot flagpole. The picture above shows two 1,000 gallon vats and one 5,500 gallon container.


Beautifully displayed products.


One of my favorite things is the name of the vodka because it is based on the family name. I know them and ‘get a kick out of it.’ Also, they told us that Chris somehow posed for the design above. On the next visit,  I will ask to see him to recreate the emblem for a photo. So clever!


There are a lot of nice souvenirs to choose from at Sevier Distilling Company. The leaning Yetti shot glass was our favorite.


Sevier Distilling Company is open 7 days a week. Right now, they are operating on winter hours, pictured above.


As our visit ended, Karen and I decided that we must return with more friends. Sevier Distilling Company is very clean, attractive, and relaxed. The servers do not rush you and they are glad to answer any questions. I felt no pressure to buy any products, but they apparently sold a ton of things over the recent holiday. It was very enjoyable and I could have lingered another hour there.

The behind the scenes tour is excellent and gives one insight to the growing industry in our county. It was a very enjoyable afternoon, even though it was cold and dreary outside. Sevier Distilling Company can certainly help you lift your spirits when you are out and about in Sevierville. 



Sevierville Products ‘Make a Splash’ at Morristown Event



All Saints School in Morristown had their yearly fundraiser just a few weeks ago and there were several of  local products there. Sevierville art, products and ‘makings’ were evident on many auction tables. I was proud to see these products represent our county to help All Saints School and to celebrate their 50 years of serving Hamblen County. Here were the Sevier County things that I saw during this evening fundraiser.


When I think of local jewelry then I think of Bev Gwinn Jones and Two Coyotes Studio. Clearly, this was a good choice for the All Saints auction. Find her studio on Court Avenue in Sevierville and on sale at Loraleis boutique. Also, find her on Facebook and Instagram.

I ended up bidding and winning this necklace and the treble clef earrings. Just a week later, they traveled on a Delta jet to New York for a few days.


Local artist, Millie Derrick, featured a whimsical birdhouse and pottery centerpiece. I love mine! Find her art in local stores and at the Market Square farmer’s market during the season.


Local maker, Ursula Stinnett, creates beauty from old hymnals and other kinds of paper. My friends and I have several of her items and always see something new that we love. Find her at the Sevier Commons holiday market for several gift ideas.


Here is Ursula’s schedule so you can find her.


I love her folded paper ornaments and other adornments.


Active in local events here, such as the Art Crawl, XXX Moonshine was also present at the All Saints fundraiser. I have heard that this flavor is the absolute best. But don’t listen to me, go to one of their tasting rooms in Sevier County to find out for yourself.


Here is the XXX Moonshine tent from the 2017 Art Crawl on Bruce Street in September. Great graphics on this tent!

Moonshine is gaining popularity so it was no surprise to see more of it at the fundraiser. Ole Smoky had a popular auction item.


In fact, it became a very valuable auction item! This was not even the final bid. This is just as I happened to walk by later in the evening.


A highly valuable item is always a gift certificate from our local Oak Haven Spa. This was extremely popular. I am a member of their monthly spa membership so I left the bid to another lucky person who needs to de-stress and to relax. Good one!


This is my niece’s third grade class at All Saints School. What a nice place! I enjoyed walking through the hallways and meeting  teachers.


This is my school friend, and Morristown artist, Carol Bridgewater Rouse. Not only does Carol teach art at Morristown East High School, but she is an award winning artist in Mo’town. We love red carpet entrances!


Carol won an award for this painting of downtown Morristown and the famous overhead sidewalks. If I am not mistaken, the original was bought by Rose Center and hangs there now.


Carol  also won an award for this painting of Burke Toney stadium in Morristown. If you have gone to see the Smoky Bears play a Morristown team for an away game then you have been to this stadium. Both paintings were created in a Van Gogh style.


The All Saints School fundraiser was quite the event! I hope my sister and her family invite me back next year!



Certainly,  the All Saints School fundraiser committee would say thank you to everyone who donated items for this important fundraiser.


Happy 50th to All Saints School!